Anyone who absorbs an ungodly amount of music will tell you – sometimes the bands and records become lifetime companions and sometimes….well, sometimes you struggle to remember what they sound like. Those initial impressions are important – don’t get me wrong – but those records that stay lodged in your brain forever, those are hard to come by. Manchester, England’s Soup have released a debut album that I am sure will stick with me forever. It’s one of my favorite records of 2014.
From Stereokill Recordings comes the 3rd track to be released from the “lost” Paris Angels album, Eclipse. The Paris Angels, of course, reunited after the untimely passing of beloved drummer, Simon Worrall (“Big Si” to his friends & family). The Distant Drums compilation was a masterful compilation put together in Worrall’s memory and featured Sleeping With the Radio On – a slab of Madchester that reintroduced the world to the band’s brilliance. Last summer’s release of Door to Summer was, well, an anthem for summer. In other words, a hazy reflection of summertime fun. The full album hasn’t materialized yet, but the new track to be lifted from Eclipse is a funky tune that feels modern, though it dates from the early 90’s. A killer bass riff, uplifting vocals – it all culminates in a chorus that you’ll be singing along to after hearing the song just once. The track is a layered masterpiece, building in intensity as it progresses. What could end up as a cacophony of musical ambition instead becomes a nuanced exercise in beauty, imbued with nostalgia. What I’m saying is that this is a perfect song, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the full length. You can pick up the song at all major digital outlets for the less than the price of a cup of coffee or tea. Welcome back, boys.
Verdict: Feels Like Summer
For Fans of: The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, The Mock Turtles
The Paris Angels were / are one of the great “what if” stories of the early 90’s. Contemporaries with The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and Primal Scream they released a handful of singles along with a full length album and then all but disappeared. A casualty of record company shenanigans it seemed that the band’s place in history may have been relegated to a footnote in musical history – but tragic circumstances brought the lads back together. The unexpected passing of drummer Simon Worrall (Big Si) in 2011 found the band reuniting in his memory and contributing an unreleased track “Sleeping With the Radio On” to the Distant Drums charity compilation. That track, as well as new single “Door to Summer” are from the forthcoming record Eclipse. Recorded 21 years ago but sounding relevant, Door to Summer brings to mind the phrase “what was once old will be new again”. The track would have been fresh in 1992, reveling in its chill after party atmosphere – it sounds just as exciting in 2013. I’m pretty sure the word I’m looking for is ‘timeless’. I’ll be posting a review of the full length album when it comes out early in the Fall. In the meantime, make sure to pick up this track to whet your appetite. Available from Itunes for about $1, its money well spent. You can read more about the band and get up to date information on Paris Angels releases via Stereokill Recordings.
Verdict: Un Bel Ange
For Fans of: The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Black Grape, Primal Scream, Inspiral Carpets
Compilation albums have always been a tough sell with me. Typically I hone in on a few acts that grab me – buy everything by those bands, and forget all about the compilation. There have been a few exceptions over the years – the Factory records box set, the Left of the Dial series, and anything associated with the Messthetics DIY series (to name just a few). When I got word that a tribute compilation album in memory of the Paris Angels Simon Worrall was in the works, I had a feeling it’d be a compilation that would sit comfortably on the (digital) shelf with my other favorites – and I was right. The compilation features musicians from Manchester, England from various levels of notoriety. To understand how or why these friends of Big Si (as he was affectionately known) came together to celebrate his life that was cut short far too soon in November of 2011, one must revisit the story of the Paris Angels.